MOUNT VERNON — A Knox County-wide school supply drive hosted by The Salvation Army has kicked off and will be open for donations until Aug. 6.
Vicki Leasure, with the Salvation Army explained to the News that the drive is most in need of spiral notebooks, two-prong folders, gluesticks, pens and pencils, colored pencils, markers, composition notebooks, rulers, scissors and backpacks.
The Salvation Army has teamed up with other local organizations to make the event successful, Leasure explained. The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County is a drop off point for the drive, she said.
The Salvation Army has partnered with Women’s United as well, who have pledged to donate at least 200 backpacks, Leasure said.
“We’re hoping to help 500 families with this event,” she said. “In Knox County, you really have both extremes very close to each other, you have those that are extremely blessed and those that are extremely struggling. Right now, with the job fluctuations in the county, with Siemens leaving and the layoffs, anything we can do to help students feel like they’re ready for school and ready for success is worth all of the craziness. We have a lot of single parents and extended family members who have taken to raising children for different reasons, so we want to give them they support they need.”
The drive is countywide, Leasure said, with help being offered to those outside of Mount Vernon, in Danville, Centerburg, Fredericktown, Howard and Utica.
After all of the supplies are collected, there will be a backpack giveaway registration event Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Leasure explained that families can come in with a valid ID, proof of school registration and grade and proof of Knox County residence to register for the backpack. When the families register, they will be given a card for a time to come back to the office Friday, Aug. 10 to pick up the backpack.
The backpacks will be outfitted with the supplies as needed for each grade level, Leasure said.
“We serve Kindergarten through eighth grade primarily, but we always get a few high schoolers and we do our best to help them as well,” she said.
There is no need to show financial need for this event, Leasure said. “We want to help as many families as we can in Knox County.”
Jobs and Family Services will not be providing funding for school supplies, according to Director Matthew Kurtz. He explained that Jobs and Family Services are working with Interchurch Social Services this year to provide vouchers for school clothing.
For more information visit the Salvation Army Facebook page or call 740-392-8716.